We use cookies to enhance our website for you. Proceed if you agree to this policy or learn more about it.

  • Essay Database >
  • Essay Examples >
  • Essays Topics >
  • Essay on Law

Sample Essay On Moral Compass

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Law , Actions , Vision , Justice , Morality , Ethics , Business , Leadership

Words: 1400

Published: 03/05/2020


An individual has to recognize their moral compass for it to exist. Personally, I hold that every individual has a moral compass that they have established through their livelihood and it guides their behaviors, decisions, attitude towards others and their actions. Every person’s moral compass revolves around certain philosophies and helps them in developing a character. When encountering difficult situations and decisions the moral guide enables one to identify the morally acceptable solution. For me, it has taken self-reflection to identify personal moral weaknesses and strengths and constant effort in order to strengthen my moral compass.

Moral Vision

Personally, I subscribe to a moral vision, which ensures the achievement of economic and social justice for all individuals in the world. I have heavily routed this vision within my Wisdom Tradition. I ensure that the vision aligns with the moral code I have chosen. Mother Teresa from whom I derive a purpose for living has shaped the belief and vision. To me she represents the most inspiring humanitarians in the modern era (Kolodiejchuk 55). Mother Teresa exemplified Catholic values, which include social justice, charity, and respect for all individuals. Always true to herself, Mother Teresa aimed at living within her mission and serving others. Her sole aim involved improving life’s quality through initiating charity missions and seeking help to sustain the missions. Although her efforts received criticism from different sources, she lived as an ambassador of humanitarianism and peace. She inspires me to hold my beliefs and take actions, which influence future generations. My moral vision is the backbone of my inspiration and identity. I trust that there is an afterlife. The belief in a later life enables me to focus on my purpose of living rather than seeking to enrich myself. Simply, I consider that life is a God granted opportunity to leave a positive difference. Many individuals hold this as a personal ambition but fail at achieving it due to interruptions from personal desires (Koslowski 12). My moral compass enables me to move along the route of leaving a positive influence without destructions. Receiving guidance from my moral compass, I have managed to establish a target timeline, which highlights how I can accomplish the vision.

Personally, I accept that an individual’s moral compass should have a strong foundation within a Wisdom Tradition. Religion has offered me a chance to gain wisdom and structure the moral compass. As a catholic, I base my moral principles in the catholic traditions, which are deeply rooted in biblical stories. These stories enrich my compass with virtues like humility and patience. For example, the biblical story where Jesus cleans the feet of his followers equips me with humility as a leadership skill. In leadership training, no one has offered me lessons of humility and patience. However, from religion and biblical narratives I have gathered that personal humility enables leaders to maintain relations with their followers by making them feel significant (Hamel 10). Such virtues are strongly ingrained in my moral compass and personality. Furthermore, I base my personality from personal experiences and how people treat the individuals, I respect. For example, I respect nurses due to the sacrifice I have witnessed from my mother. With this, I resent individuals who disrespect workers within the service industry in general. I admire nurse`s ability to take tender care of patients with respect and dignity although some cannot perform normal actions like make use of a bathroom.

Moral Fitness

The significant principles in my moral code include empathy, justice, and humility and I base them in my Wisdom Tradition (Thompson 20). To indicate how these three rules guide my behaviors and actions I will discuss about justice. I consider stealing as the most unjust action that one can perform to another individual. Taking an item from another individual with the knowledge that it belongs to him or her is unjust and deprives him or her of something that they rightfully own. Anybody who makes it his or her personal effort never to steal from other then abides by my moral code. In broader terms, lying also entails stealing the truth from other parties. Based on the philosophy a law can emerge which can define stealing in different perspectives according to how I view it. I strive to perform actions that I would like others to perform to me. The effort to perform just actions to other individuals regardless of their race and religion serves as a golden rule within my Wisdom Tradition (Thompson 24). Practicing this golden rule has enabled me to make peace with individuals who had judged me prior to any interactions with them. In addition, I place empathy among the core principles because it also involves justice. With the understanding of other individuals feelings then I am able to apply justice in my actions and behavior. These principles strengthen my moral compass which enables me coexist in harmony with the individual around me.

Defining Moment

One moment that I hold dearly is when is served as the captain in my football team. The role enabled me to interact with all players at a personal level because I led them in training and other activities. However, the regulations set by the institution dictated that players were required to exhibit exemplary performance in academics in order to join and survive in the team. During the tournaments, the team had to train hard in order to gain victory. Due to the hard training, I realized that some team members were not submitting their personal assignments and would copy from their classmates. These activities had been defined as illegal by the school and I was faced by a challenging decision. I submitted the names of the team members who had involved themselves in the practice because I had a duty to the school. However, I pleaded on their behalf to the administration to give allow them to play for the season. In addition, I pulled the individuals aside and talked to them about time management. The situation enabled me to perform my obligation towards both parties.

Future as a business leader

Conscientious Leadership My moral compass will enable me to perform my obligations as a business leader. I expect to face challenges regarding nepotism and favoritism. As a leader in business, I expect that many individuals will seek favors from me (Badaracco 32). However, these will serve as defining moments for me to prove that I follow my Wisdom Tradition. Among the opportunities, Envision in my practice, include working with diverse individuals who hold different ideas about business and management.

Conscientious Commerce

In conscientious commerce, I envision challenges regarding unethical business tendering and corruption. Other challenges revolve around identifying workers and associates who shun corruption and uphold business ethics (Badaracco 32). However, opportunities such as building strong enterprises and partnerships exist. In addition, an opportunity for me to influence other business leaders towards working with a moral compass exists.

Civic Conscience

I perceive that challenges in building partnerships lay in finding individuals who hold similar ideologies and development agendas. Success will only emerge when I work with individuals who understand the goals and vision and share similar values (Badaracco 32). However, on the same, opportunities such as having access to greater resources and ideas will appear due to the formation of partnerships. Working towards shared visions and goals will be easier due to brainstorming and idea sharing.

I have managed to maintain a moral compass, which acts as a guide towards building my character and fulfilling a purpose. The assignment has enabled me to reevaluate and realign my vision and code along with my moral compass.

Works Cited

Badaracco, Joseph. Defining moments: when managers must choose between right and right. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1997. Print. Hamel, Gary. Leading the revolution. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 2000. Print. Kolodiejchuk, Brian. Mother Teresa: come be my light : the private writings of the "Saint of Calcutta". New York: Doubleday, 2007. Print. Koslowski, Peter. Principles of Ethical Economy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2001. Print. Thompson, Lindsay J.. The moral compass leadership for a free world. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Pub., 2009. Print.


Cite this page

Share with friends using:

Removal Request

Removal Request

Finished papers: 568

This paper is created by writer with

ID 267646385

If you want your paper to be:

Well-researched, fact-checked, and accurate

Original, fresh, based on current data

Eloquently written and immaculately formatted

275 words = 1 page double-spaced

submit your paper

Get your papers done by pros!

Other Pages

Clip literature reviews, spiral literature reviews, bunch literature reviews, cheek literature reviews, fast food restaurants argumentative essays, saint anne essays, lunenburg essays, dennis wilson essays, longhurst essays, jerry brown essays, redondo essays, wesley snipes essays, springvale essays, everman essays, example of black gold quot coffee quot essay, do children learn better in single sex schools essay examples, property laws on a cohabitating couples on the verge of separation essay examples, video reflection critical thinking sample, individual case analysis quot ikeas global sourcing challenge indian rugs case study examples, free research paper on corporate ethos and business ethics, organizational values business ethics thesis proposal examples, as thomas builds the fire he tries to comfort victor hey victor im sorry essay example, example of private property essay, confronting hiv aids argumentative essay examples, economics essay example 3, essay on e commerce its subsets and challenges, example of article review on the boss is watching, example of essay on the illusory nature of arnold friend, example of sample fishing business costs course work, how effective rtms repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is in treating critical thinking, example of essay on i have an attachment and the topic is going to be about number 4 it starts with, free essay about hunting camp tradition, good name essay example 2, good research paper on thinking like an anthropologist putting it all together, free case study about operation management course, how to find and do work you love article reviews example, free essay on why we tuned out, good critical thinking on the forsaken, diversity course work, free public health research paper example, essay on affirmative action controversy, free essay on ethical behaviors in criminal justice, free research paper about venture capital and private equity careers.

Password recovery email has been sent to [email protected]

Use your new password to log in

You are not register!

By clicking Register, you agree to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy .

Now you can download documents directly to your device!

Check your email! An email with your password has already been sent to you! Now you can download documents directly to your device.

or Use the QR code to Save this Paper to Your Phone

The sample is NOT original!

Short on a deadline?

Don't waste time. Get help with 11% off using code - GETWOWED

No, thanks! I'm fine with missing my deadline

Home — Essay Samples — Philosophy — Ethics — Ethics and Values: The Moral Compass of Humanity


Ethics and Values: The Moral Compass of Humanity

  • Categories: Ethics Values of Life

About this sample


Words: 698 |

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Words: 698 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Table of contents

The significance of ethics and values, the role of ethics and values in society, challenges and dilemmas in ethical decision-making, striving for ethical excellence, 1. personal development:, 2. relationships:, 3. decision-making:, 4. accountability:, 5. society:, 1. law and justice:, 2. medicine and healthcare:, 3. business and economics:, 4. politics and governance:, 5. education and academia:, 1. moral relativism:, 2. conflicting values:, 3. ethical grey areas:, 4. peer pressure and groupthink:, 5. ethical fatigue:, 1. ethical education:, 2. ethical frameworks:, 3. ethical leaders:, 4. open dialogue:, 5. ethical decision-making models:.

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Let us write you an essay from scratch

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

Get high-quality help


Verified writer

  • Expert in: Philosophy


+ 120 experts online

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

Related Essays

2 pages / 833 words

3 pages / 1447 words

3 pages / 1530 words

1 pages / 610 words

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

121 writers online

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

Related Essays on Ethics

In today's world, the issue of whether stealing is morally wrong continues to be a contentious topic. While many individuals view stealing as a clear violation of ethical principles, others argue that certain circumstances may [...]

Utilitarianism is a prominent ethical theory that has influenced moral philosophy for centuries. In this essay, we will explore the definition and history of utilitarianism, examining its association with renowned philosophers [...]

Adams, J. S., Tashchian, A., & Shore, T. H. (2001). Codes of ethics as signals for ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 29(3), 199–211.Fraedrich, J., Thorne, D. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (1994). Assessing the application of [...]

The case of Terri Schiavo, a woman who spent 15 years in a persistent vegetative state, ignited a profound ethical debate surrounding end-of-life care and the right to die with dignity. This essay aims to analyze the ethical [...]

In ethics, ethical relativism is one of the most controversial topics. In fact, many known ethicists reject and completely neglect the theory. They believe that even though moral practices in societies may differ, the [...]

If I were in the shoes of McCoy I would not do anything that would risk, my life in order to help. When it comes to climbing the mountain, I will not leave the man behind if all it was doing was preventing me from going up the [...]

Related Topics

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.

Where do you want us to send this sample?

By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Be careful. This essay is not unique

This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

Download this Sample

Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

Please check your inbox.

We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

essay about moral compass

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Guided Meditations
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2024 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

How to Develop a Strong Moral Compass

Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

essay about moral compass

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

What Makes Up Your Moral Compass?

Signs of a strong moral compass, what does it mean to lack a moral compass.

Just like ships are guided by a magnetic compass, humans are guided by a moral compass. Also known as your conscience or your ethical principles, your moral compass is an innate set of values that guides your behavior and decisions.

Your moral compass essentially helps you distinguish between what’s right and wrong, says Kristin Wilson , LPC, CCTP, Chief Experience Officer at Newport Healthcare.

Your moral compass plays a significant role in your life. It can guide the way you work, the way you respond when you’re asked a question, the way you react to a situation , or simply the way you go about your day-to-day life.

For example: Do you leave your campground clean or littered with trash? Do you lend your neighbor your footstool or claim you don’t have one? Do you blame a mistake you made at work on your colleague or take responsibility for it?

This article explores the signs and benefits of a moral compass, factors that influence your moral compass, and strategies to help you develop a strong moral compass.

These are some factors that can influence your moral compass, according to Wilson:

  • Family values
  • Parental styles
  • Life experiences
  • Role models
  • Religious beliefs
  • Cultural norms
  • Social influences
  • Political climate
  • Economic environment
  • Social media

Kristin Wilson, LPC, CCTP

Moral compasses aren't fixed constructs—they may change as we face new experiences in life, gain knowledge, or cope with hardships. Therefore, everyone's moral compass is unique.

These are some of the signs of a strong moral compass, according to Wilson:

  • Honesty: Being truthful and not lying to people or deceiving them for your own gain.
  • Respect: Treating others with respect, even if they have a different background or belief system from yours.
  • Humility: Not being arrogant and avoiding boasting.
  • Reliability: Keeping your word and being dependable to those who count on you.
  • Accountability: Taking responsibility for your actions and mistakes.
  • Loyalty: Being faithful and supportive of the people in your life.
  • Kindness: Being kind to others and helping out as much as possible.
  • Thoughtfulness: Being considerate toward other people.
  • Selflessness: Being quick to help and putting others’ needs before your own.
  • Trustworthiness: Being honest and not stealing, cheating on, or manipulating others.
  • Compassion: Being empathetic toward the plight of others.

Benefits of Having a Strong Moral Compass

These are some of the benefits of having a strong moral compass:

  • Stronger identity: Having a strong moral compass can lead to a strong sense of integrity, self-worth, and self-confidence, says Wilson.
  • Increased happiness: Acting in accordance with your values can help you feel happy and at peace with yourself. A 2014 study notes that having a clear conscience helps promote inner peace . The authors of the study notes that this even applies during stressful situations, because you know you’ve done your best.
  • Better relationships: People with a strong moral compass are able to foster better relationships with others because they value others’ needs and view themselves as part of a greater good, says Wilson.
  • Greater success: Research shows that ethical behavior is linked to better performance and greater success.

Without a moral compass, you may simply act per your own convenience, without taking into consideration what’s better for others or society as a whole.

People who lack moral compasses can be difficult to deal with because they often make decisions that will negatively impact those around them, says Wilson.

Research also shows that psychopathic people, who often have antisocial or criminal tendencies, tend to lack a moral compass.

Tips to Strengthen Your Moral Compass 

These are some strategies that can help you strengthen your moral compass.

Review Your Beliefs

Your moral compass is comprised of your beliefs, principles , and values. It can be helpful to reflect upon them and evaluate them from time to time, to ensure your moral compass stays strong.

You can do this by reflecting on day-to-day situations in your life or current events in the news. Ask yourself how you feel about the situation and why. If you like, you can even discuss your thoughts with others, to see how they feel about them.

Seek Out Diverse Perspectives

Often, we rely only on what we know to guide us. However, our perspective can sometimes be limiting.

It’s important to broaden your horizons by considering different cultures, religions, social practices, and economic backgrounds. The best way to do this is by talking to lots of different people. You can also read books and articles, and watch diverse content.

Developing a more diverse, inclusive, and holistic worldview can help you be more compassionate and strengthen your moral compass.

Practice Empathy

While we always consider how our actions will affect us, it’s equally important to consider how they affect others.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective can help you understand how your actions might affect them. This can help you be more empathetic toward them and guide your behavior toward them.

Act Upon Your Intentions

While your moral compass is a guiding light, it’s important to follow through and act upon your intentions.

For instance, even though you might be tempted to turn in an assignment late and make an excuse to your manager, it’s important to get it done on time if you value punctuality, reliability, and trustworthiness.

The satisfaction you get by acting upon your values is motivating and rewarding in itself and will help strengthen your moral compass.

Correct Your Mistakes

Your moral compass evolves over time, as you encounter new information and experiences. If you find something you once believed was mistaken or misguided, don’t be afraid to correct yourself. Admit your mistakes , apologize to people you’ve hurt, and learn from the situation.

Even if you were mistaken before, correcting yourself can help you strengthen your moral compass and feel at peace with yourself. Being stubborn and refusing to accept that you might have been wrong can be as harmful to your mental well-being as it is to others’.

Bennahum DA. Moral compass in the care of patients who choose aid in dying . Camb Q Healthc Ethics . 2020;29(2):327-329. doi:10.1017/S0963180119001117

Van Stekelenburg LH, Smerecnik C, Sanderse W, et al. ‘What do you mean by ethical compass?’ Bachelor students’ ideas about being a moral professional . Empirical Res Voc Ed Train 12, 11 (2020). doi:10.1186/s40461-020-00097-6

Ramos AM, Griffin AM, Neiderhiser JM, Reiss D. Did I inherit my moral compass? Examining socialization and evocative mechanisms for virtuous character development . Behav Genet . 2019;49(2):175-186. doi:10.1007/s10519-018-09945-4

Vithoulkas G, Muresanu DF. Conscience and consciousness: a definition . J Med Life . 2014;7(1):104-108.

Donnellan JJ Jr. A moral compass for management decision making: a healthcare CEO's reflections . Front Health Serv Manage . 2013;30(1):14-26.

Marshall J, Watts AL, Lilienfeld SO. Do psychopathic individuals possess a misaligned moral compass? A meta-analytic examination of psychopathy's relations with moral judgment . Personal Disord . 2018;9(1):40-50. doi:10.1037/per0000226

By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

  • Home ›
  • Reviews ›

Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers

Placeholder book cover

Calhoun, Cheshire (ed.), Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers , Oxford University Press, 2004, 384pp (pbk), ISBN 0195154754.

Reviewed by Anita Superson, University of Kentucky

This superb collection contains nineteen, most newly published, papers by some of the leading women moral philosophers who have “set the moral compass” over the past few decades. The time has come for this book: I for one have found that the overwhelming majority of intriguing papers in moral philosophy have been written by women. What makes women’s works so interesting, evidenced by the papers in this volume, are (1) the issues with which women are largely concerned (e.g., self-respect, decency, resentment, and moral progress), (2) the approaches women take to philosophy (e.g., drawing on examples from literature and from real life rather than using wildly implausible, hypothetical cases, and respecting the history of philosophy while using it to teach new lessons applicable to real life), and (3) the theses women defend (e.g., that moral theories need to include treatment of vulnerable persons, that we need to assess not only the wrongdoings of individuals, but also the injustices of institutions, practices, and ideologies, and that in assessing the practices of other cultures we need to be sensitive to cultural differences while not succumbing to moral relativism). This is the first book I have seen that puts together papers for the reason that they are written by women philosophers, and as such it promises to confirm my own convictions about women’s philosophical work in the minds of its readers. The papers in this volume are not necessarily feminist papers: some explicitly are, but others are not identified as such by their authors. Cheshire Calhoun thinks of them in terms of a feminist continuum, ranging from papers with explicitly feminist aims, to papers that would not have been written in the same way had the authors lacked feminist sensibilities. I like to think of them as humanist papers, since they, together with earlier works by women moral philosophers, legitimize certain topics (e.g., killing in the heat of passion, genocide, the role of narrative in moral life), and either they explicitly aim to include traditionally disenfranchised groups, or the views they defend can be more inclusively applied than those typically espoused in traditional moral theories. Either way, they buttress feminists’ arguments for ending women’s oppression. Most significantly, this book is a unifier , not a divider. Typically we find works in moral philosophy written either by feminists (mostly women) or by those in more “mainstream” ethical theory (mostly men), with little or no overlap. This is unnecessarily divisive both for ethics and for women, since it sets aside feminism as a “special” area concerned with “women’s issues,” and generates expectations that all women philosophers (but only a few men) do feminism. But the fact of the matter is that feminism is concerned with some of the most fundamental issues in ethics (e.g., respect, equality, autonomy, and justice), and indeed, that any moral theory that fails to import these issues into its basic tenets in an inclusive way is seriously remiss. This division of areas often serves to marginalize feminism, and subsequently, feminists (mostly women) in the profession. This book, though, counteracts such unjust separations, since it shows that traditional ethics can be –indeed, should be – informed by feminism, and vice versa, in order for our principles and theories to reach their richest levels. All moral philosophy stands to benefit from this mutual exchange of ideas. Philosophy in general needs a lot more of this, and this book provides a great start. It is suitable to use in an upper division undergraduate or graduate course on ethics, and will be an inspiration to all women considering entering the profession of philosophy.

Calhoun’s introduction is simply outstanding. Significantly – and, I believe, courageously – Calhoun links the purpose of this collection to women’s status in the profession. She does not think that women philosophers produce a “woman’s moral philosophy” in a gender-essentialist sense. A gender-essentialist believes that just in virtue of their gender, philosophers will produce different kinds of work. This, of course, is false and sexist. But yet Calhoun believes that embodiment does make a difference to the philosophy one does.(12) This is because “our social worlds make all sorts of things of our evident sex differences.”(10) Our social world includes, for philosophers, our academic environment, where women have been notoriously under-represented. Calhoun believes that how women philosophers have been received into and supported by their profession affects both their subjectivity and their philosophical production. Indeed, not only women’s embodiment, but men’s too, will show up in their work, but, I would add, men’s philosophical production has been taken to be the norm, while women have had to work, without the support of numbers or high-ranking women colleagues, to legitimize certain issues, approaches, and theses. The point of Calhoun’s book is to make visible the difference that gender makes to one’s philosophical production, by allowing women philosophers, as philosophers rather than as feminists or as token spokespersons for all women philosophers, to have a voice. Very importantly, Calhoun notes that once we see the difference that gender makes in doing philosophy, it will be obvious that women’s under-representation is “a significant cognitive loss.”(12) I couldn’t agree more, and I would add that it would be a loss for our (male) colleagues to dismiss this book just because it is a collection of works by women philosophers, and/or because it contains representative feminist pieces. They most of all need to read it, since in virtue of their numbers they determine women’s being attracted to, and hired and retained in, philosophy.

The book is divided into six sections: an ethics for ordinary life and vulnerable persons (Marcia Homiak, Elizabeth Spelman, Virginia Held, Martha Nussbaum); what we ought to do for each other (Barbara Herman, Susan Wolf, Cheshire Calhoun); the normative importance of a shared social world (Margaret Walker, Claudia Card, Annette Baier); achieving adequate moral understandings (Robin Dillon, Marilyn Friedman, Alison Jaggar, Michele Moody-Adams); the dramatic and narrative form of deliberation and agency (Amelie Rorty, Diana Meyers); and emotions, reason, and unreason (Christine Korsgaard, Karen Jones, Marcia Baron). I am able to address only one representative paper in each section, tying it in with themes that Calhoun takes to be illustrative of women’s philosophy. Any moral philosopher would benefit from reading the other extremely rich, insightful, and interesting papers.

One common theme in women’s philosophy that takes many forms is resistance to elitism and inegalitarianism. Marcia Homiak persuasively argues that Aristotle’s arguments about the goodness of the moral life can reach not only those who are already disposed to virtue, but even the average person on the street. Homiak shows that the unimpeded activity of ordinary life is not that far removed from Aristotle’s ideal life of contemplation that seems to be in the reach of only a select few. She relies on an everyday case study of the ordinary activity (another theme in women’s philosophy) of art patronage, which is within almost anyone’s grasp. Art patronage involves continuous and pleasant activity of knowing about paintings, enjoyment from the mathematical skills involved in the business aspect of art, and contemplation with colleagues, all of which are marks of unimpeded activity. As a result of these ordinary activities and relationships, the art patron develops further desires for greater continuous activity, which eventually leads to virtue. In short, a person acquires more desires from pursuing certain things that the person on the street pursues, and these desires will eventually lead to virtue. Thus virtue, which is continuous activity, is within the scope of any rational being, and so Aristotle’s theory is not as elitist as we may have believed.

Another characteristic of women’s philosophy is the appeal to literature outside philosophy. Cheshire Calhoun, in a fun and exciting paper, examines the notion of common decency through the failure of Ebenezer Scrooge, who does his duty by giving others exactly what he owes, but who gives nothing more – no pleasantries, mercies, kindnesses, and favors that we expect of any minimally well-formed agent. Calhoun argues that common decencies are a subclass of supererogatory acts, the former being ones that are motivationally nontaxing (e.g., giving up one’s seat to an elderly person) and that are part of social convention (e.g., opening a door for a burdened stranger v. tying his shoe). My only concern about Calhoun’s argument is that if a person is being exploited (e.g., the severely underpaid professor), we should hope that the expectations of minimal decency (e.g., giving comments on students’ papers) become straightforward supererogatory acts. Calhoun could readily accept this modification by challenging the sexism and other immorality that might underlie social conventions and expectations generated thereby.

Margaret Walker’s paper is important for understanding the oppressed’s response to the privileged. It argues that resentment plays the role of targeting violations and prompting violators of our shared norms and expectations to reconsider their actions and to beware that they have violated these. This paper illustrates the themes of ordinariness and resistance to elitism: resentment is a common reaction of the oppressed to their oppressors, and it is a way that the oppressed can protest their ill-treatment and express the view that the privileged, but not the oppressed, have violated shared norms. Resentment responds to received threats to expectations based on presumably shared norms, and to threats to one’s standing to assert or insist upon these norms.(146) It is occasioned not only by harms and losses, but by exploitations (free-ridership), improprieties, demotions (of value), slights (treatment beneath one’s status), and offenses (norm-violations). In all cases the person resenting believes that the other could have acted differently, since the latter knows or ought to know that he is not exempt from the shared norms. Resentment calls for the resented to reaffirm their subscription to moral or other norms they have violated. And where these norms are different for the oppressed and the privileged, the oppressed can legitimately resent this very difference.

In her excellent and powerful paper, Robin Dillon argues that for Kant arrogance is the deadliest of moral vices.(192) Dillon approaches the issue of arrogance from a feminist perspective, setting up a dichotomy: should women use arrogance in struggling against domination, or should they eschew arrogance as a trait that conflicts with self-respect, as Kant believed? In so asking, Dillon demonstrates resistance to elitism, since even if arrogance might help women fight their oppression, it might be the case that they ought not to develop it if it means sacrificing self-respect – one is to have a humble attitude toward morality. Arrogance violates the duty to respect others, requiring that others respect the arrogant person more highly than he deserves, and that they respect themselves much less than they deserve, thereby denying their intrinsic dignity. Dillon identifies three versions of arrogance in Kant: (1) a warped belief that the worth of persons is scalar, and that nothing, including oneself, is unconditionally deserving of respect; (2) an unwarranted claim to much more moral merit than one has actually earned from acting morally; and (3) a belief in the greatness of one’s moral worth by failing to compare it with the standards of excellence set by the moral law. The third kind of arrogance underlies the first two, and is the worst form and the deepest source of evil, since it involves tinkering with the moral law in a way that makes the arrogant person able to pass off what he wants to do as what he ought to do, by subordinating the incentives of the moral law to those of the inclinations. He exercises power over morality and reason itself, for the desire for self-esteem.(209) I believe that this best explains the arrogance involved in privilege. Were women to become arrogant in this way, they would likely turn into oppressors themselves, and lose self-respect. They can, though, become superior to oppressive social norms, as long as they do so in a self-respecting way.

Diana Meyers’ insightful paper argues that any theory of moral agency must speak to the issue of internalized oppression, since this compromises self-determination. Agents who internalize their oppression act on their “own” values and preferences, but at the same time perpetuate their own oppression. Meyers rejects the Kantian view that so long as reason can steer volition, the agent’s will is free, since rational willing is not an option for those in the grips of internalized oppression.(297) Meyers rejects the Humean view that the only force that compromises free will is an external one, since agents who internalize oppression are not self-determining. She favors a narrative account of agency and responsibility that can show both how internalized oppression subverts self-determination, and how resistance is possible. When oppressed persons tell their life stories, they are empowered, are creative about what their futures can be, engage others for help in revising their self-narratives, become aware of habits that keep them from changing, and even change their desires and so rid themselves of internalized oppression. Meyers’ paper illustrates a resistance to elitism by acknowledging the very real presence of internalized oppression and by including even those who internalize their oppression as self-determining, full moral agents.

The book ends with Marcia Baron’s engaging paper on killing in the heat of passion. Significantly for woman’s philosophy, Baron points out that the provocation defense historically has been seen from the reasonable man’s perspective, being allowed when a husband observes his wife committing adultery, but not vice versa. Even though the defense is now available to women who kill their adulterous husbands, since women rarely kill their husbands for this reason, it is still gendered. Baron argues that the provocation defense is neither purely an excuse, since it suggests some degree of fault on the part of the “provoker,” nor purely a justification, since it suggests that the defendant’s agency is impaired by some provocation. Instead of rejecting this defense, which we might think that feminists should do, given its link with sexist background assumptions about blame, provocation, violence, gendered versions of what counts as acceptable expressions of rage, and so on, Baron argues instead for narrowing the defense. It can be used, after all, in cases such as the one in which a battered woman caught her husband about to rape their baby girl, and after hearing him later the same day threaten to rape the girl, shot him.(362) Baron argues for fine-tuning the defense in ways that speak to the extraordinary nature of the situation, and to whether there was taunting or arrogant flaunting on the part of the provoker or his friends. Using provocation as a hybrid of excuse and justification reflects our view that the defendant had every reason to be upset –there is nothing wrong with her– and that even very good people might react the way she or he did. Baron’s thought-provoking paper is a very fine example of philosophy that is informed both by tradition and by feminism, and shows how each stands to benefit from the other.

Community on Friday Logo resized

The Community on Friday

Writing, Discussions, Lectures, Knowledge

Our moral compass

Essay #5: Our Moral Compass Shapes Our Interactions

Our moral compass

We all have a moral compass, a set of principles and values that guide our actions and decisions. Our moral compass is influenced by many factors, such as our upbringing, culture, religion, education, and personal experiences. But how does our moral compass shape our interactions with others? How do we navigate the complex and diverse world of moral dilemmas and conflicts? How do we balance our moral convictions with respect for different perspectives and beliefs?  In this series, we will explore these questions and more. We will examine how our moral compass affects our communication, relationships, cooperation, and conflict resolution. We will also discuss how we can develop and refine our moral compass to become more ethical, compassionate, and responsible individuals and citizens. We will draw on insights from psychology, philosophy, sociology, and neuroscience to understand the nature and function of our moral compass. We will also share some practical tips and strategies to help us improve our moral reasoning and judgment.

Our moral compass is not fixed or static. It is dynamic and evolving. It can be challenged, changed, or reinforced by our experiences and interactions. It can also be a source of inspiration, motivation, and guidance for our actions and choices. By understanding and cultivating our moral compass, we can enhance our personal and social well-being, as well as contribute to the common good of humanity.

The Community on Friday endeavours to highlight these modern-day challenges and issues that face us, issues that we can no longer ignore and see how an Islamic way of life can guide us in navigating through these uncharted waters.

The essays may argue that the absence of a moral compass within our fabric, is a cause for concern, as it can have negative impacts on personal, social and professional relationships, as well as on mental health and well-being, and ultimately in our relationship with Allah (SWT).

Writers may also suggest some possible solutions and recommendations to address this issue and to encourage a return to the tenets of our faith.


Deadline – 19 January 2024

Short Essay Contest

This is an open call to all age groups of the Shi’a Ithna’asheri Communities worldwide.

All contestants will be awarded certificates Top entries selected by our panellists.

All entries will be published on our website

The Winner will get automatic admission into The Community on Friday writers and speakers panel


Choose one option

1. submit a write-up of between 700 and 1,000 words on the theme

2. write a poem of between 150 and 200 words on the theme

3. Submit a video speech of you or a self-made documentary of between 5 and 7 minutes on the theme

4. Prepare a Mind map on A4 paper size


Submit your entry

Please state your full name, age, and place of residence

Share Button

Share this:

  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)

' src=

About the author

Related posts.

Essay Contest

Essay #6: Join the Conversation

Writing contest

Essay #2: AI: The Future of Technology and Islamic Ethics

Essay #4

Essay #4: The erosion of etiquette and discipline in the digital era: A cause for concern?

Leave a reply cancel reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Gregg Henriques Ph.D.

Ethics and Morality

Finding our moral compass, a proposal for three foundational values..

Posted January 31, 2012 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

Watching political discourse (and deadlock and chaos), I often experience a longing for an authentic discussion of the core values that ought to be guiding us as a society. I often feel that we are morally adrift; that we do not have a clear sense of how to ground our identities and actions to ultimate values that transcend time and place.

That is not to say that our society is largely immoral. Just amoral—lacking clear a compass or a foundational guide.

Of course, for many, organized religion is valuable precisely because it provides such a moral grounding. Unfortunately, for many other Americans (including myself), organized religion does not stand up to analytical scrutiny from the vantage point of modern science and thus it is seen as an unsatisfactory solution.

Although science has undeniably provided us more and more accurate models of the universe, it has also come with a significant price. In a fascinating book, The Battle for Human Nature , Barry Schwartz detailed how, just over a century ago, the higher educational system in America taught moral philosophy , and in so doing it attempted to create a community of common values and shared aspirations.

And yet, following the growth of science and its (in)famous insistence on the separation of ought from is, higher education became a place where people learned about how the world was but were no longer taught how they ought to be. Schwartz argued that the result has been the loss of moral direction. [To see why a purely scientific worldview might have this effect, consider that a text titled, The Scientists opened with the line, "The most important thing that science has taught us about our place in the universe is that we are not special."].

Instead of a moral compass, people have been given enormous freedom to construct their own lives and make their own moral decisions. Although this outcome has had many positive elements, it also has resulted in large numbers of people, at least in America, who are fundamentally unsure when it comes to their philosophy of life.

In Schwartz's words, "They don't seem to know where they belong. They don't seem to know that they are doing the right things with their lives. They don't seem to know what the right things are."

A recent sociological analysis of emerging adults (the age range between 18-23) drives home Schwartz's analysis regarding the loss of a moral compass and paints an even bleaker picture of the capacity of today's young adults to ground their perspective in a moral perspective.

Based on hundreds of detailed interviews, the book Lost in Transition explores the darker side of emerging adulthood. Of particular relevance here was the primary finding that emerging adults in America follow a loose, poorly defined moral individualism that, for many, bleeds into an extreme moral relativism.

The emerging adults' reflections on right and wrong generally "reflected weak thinking and provided a fragile basis upon which to build robust moral positions." Moreover, the authors found this group does not rely on any moral traditions or philosophical ethics to make decisions. Instead, the basic position of most was for each individual to make up their own rules and do what is good for them.

Finally, the authors discovered that "the vast majority of emerging adults could not engage in a discussion about real moral dilemmas, and either could not think of any dilemma they had recently faced or misunderstood what a moral dilemma is."

I believe we should return to teaching moral values, and engage in an active search for values that can guide the construction of greater societies.

essay about moral compass

In my own quest for ultimate justifications that transcend time and context, I have found three separate but interrelated values that together feel like they offer a strong grounding in guiding my life and moral decisions. They are dignity, well-being, and integrity.

Dignity is the state of being valued, honored, or respected. I conceive of it in two ways. First, there is fundamental dignity , which we should confer to every human being. This value is already a well-established universal. Through much cross-cultural dialogue, the United Nations ratified the United Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, and in doing so it was ultimately concluded that human rights were justified on the grounds that all persons had dignity.

Although the various cultural and national groups could not agree on why people had dignity, there nevertheless was universal agreement that they did in fact possess a fundamental dignity, and it was from this foundational starting point that basic human rights were justified.

The second sense of the word, incremental dignity , refers to acts of individuals or groups that are worthy of respect, honor, and admiration (and, by implication, the reverse). Great works of art or athleticism , noble acts of self-sacrifice, or resilience in the face of major trials and tribulations are all examples of incremental dignity.

Thus, while we each have the same level of fundamental dignity at birth, we must nevertheless also judge our actions on the extent to which they enhance or diminish incremental dignity. (See this post on dignity .)

Well-being refers to the state of health and contentment of individuals and groups at biological, mental, and social levels of existence (cf. The World Health Organization definition of health). Although happiness is a key element, well-being is actually a much deeper construct. It refers to the degree of life satisfaction, engagement, and purpose in life, as well as the capacity to effectively adapt to environmental and social spheres in a way that fosters growth and positive sentiments in both the individual and group.

Integrity is the state of being honest, sound, and coherent. Whereas dignity and well-being are decidedly humanistic constructs, integrity includes the values such as accuracy, truth, and logical consistency and thus is more scientific in essence.

For example, speaking personally — although believing in a higher power may well improve well-being and even plausibly be argued to increase human dignity — for me, supernatural justifications do not cohere with my sense of intellectual integrity and thus I have not internalized them. Of course, if I were experientially touched by God like so many feel that they have been, then such beliefs could then be grounded in the subjective element of justification and held with integrity.

I strive to be that which enhances dignity and well-being with integrity. I have found that whether I am teaching, being with my family, challenging those who do not see the world as I do, conducting psychotherapy , or even struggling with my own issues, I can use this ultimate justification as a guide.

If the next generation is going to be successful in navigating the complexities ahead and do so in a manner that results in richer, deeper and more meaningful lives, we need more discussions and proposals about what can unite us in vision and transcendent purpose.

Gregg Henriques Ph.D.

Gregg Henriques, Ph.D. , is a professor of psychology at James Madison University.

  • Find a Therapist
  • Find a Treatment Center
  • Find a Psychiatrist
  • Find a Support Group
  • Find Online Therapy
  • United States
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Asperger's
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Passive Aggression
  • Personality
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Psychology
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Low Sexual Desire
  • Relationships
  • Child Development
  • Therapy Center NEW
  • Diagnosis Dictionary
  • Types of Therapy

March 2024 magazine cover

Understanding what emotional intelligence looks like and the steps needed to improve it could light a path to a more emotionally adept world.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Gaslighting
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Neuroscience
  • Search Menu
  • Browse content in Arts and Humanities
  • Browse content in Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology
  • Archaeological Methodology and Techniques
  • Archaeology by Region
  • Archaeology of Religion
  • Archaeology of Trade and Exchange
  • Biblical Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology
  • History and Theory of Archaeology
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Mortuary Archaeology
  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Underwater Archaeology
  • Urban Archaeology
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Browse content in Architecture
  • Architectural Structure and Design
  • History of Architecture
  • Residential and Domestic Buildings
  • Theory of Architecture
  • Browse content in Art
  • Art Subjects and Themes
  • History of Art
  • Industrial and Commercial Art
  • Theory of Art
  • Biographical Studies
  • Byzantine Studies
  • Browse content in Classical Studies
  • Classical History
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Classical Mythology
  • Classical Literature
  • Classical Reception
  • Classical Art and Architecture
  • Classical Oratory and Rhetoric
  • Greek and Roman Epigraphy
  • Greek and Roman Law
  • Greek and Roman Papyrology
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Late Antiquity
  • Religion in the Ancient World
  • Digital Humanities
  • Browse content in History
  • Colonialism and Imperialism
  • Diplomatic History
  • Environmental History
  • Genealogy, Heraldry, Names, and Honours
  • Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
  • Historical Geography
  • History by Period
  • History of Emotions
  • History of Agriculture
  • History of Education
  • History of Gender and Sexuality
  • Industrial History
  • Intellectual History
  • International History
  • Labour History
  • Legal and Constitutional History
  • Local and Family History
  • Maritime History
  • Military History
  • National Liberation and Post-Colonialism
  • Oral History
  • Political History
  • Public History
  • Regional and National History
  • Revolutions and Rebellions
  • Slavery and Abolition of Slavery
  • Social and Cultural History
  • Theory, Methods, and Historiography
  • Urban History
  • World History
  • Browse content in Language Teaching and Learning
  • Language Learning (Specific Skills)
  • Language Teaching Theory and Methods
  • Browse content in Linguistics
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • History of English
  • Language Acquisition
  • Language Evolution
  • Language Reference
  • Language Variation
  • Language Families
  • Lexicography
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Linguistic Theories
  • Linguistic Typology
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Translation and Interpretation
  • Writing Systems
  • Browse content in Literature
  • Bibliography
  • Children's Literature Studies
  • Literary Studies (Asian)
  • Literary Studies (European)
  • Literary Studies (Eco-criticism)
  • Literary Studies (Romanticism)
  • Literary Studies (American)
  • Literary Studies (Modernism)
  • Literary Studies - World
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Studies (African American Literature)
  • Literary Studies (British and Irish)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)
  • Literary Studies (Gender Studies)
  • Literary Studies (Graphic Novels)
  • Literary Studies (History of the Book)
  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)
  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)
  • Literary Studies (Queer Studies)
  • Literary Studies (Science Fiction)
  • Literary Studies (Travel Literature)
  • Literary Studies (War Literature)
  • Literary Studies (Women's Writing)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies
  • Mythology and Folklore
  • Shakespeare Studies and Criticism
  • Browse content in Media Studies
  • Browse content in Music
  • Applied Music
  • Dance and Music
  • Ethics in Music
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Gender and Sexuality in Music
  • Medicine and Music
  • Music Cultures
  • Music and Religion
  • Music and Media
  • Music and Culture
  • Music Education and Pedagogy
  • Music Theory and Analysis
  • Musical Scores, Lyrics, and Libretti
  • Musical Structures, Styles, and Techniques
  • Musicology and Music History
  • Performance Practice and Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity in Music
  • Sound Studies
  • Browse content in Performing Arts
  • Browse content in Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
  • Epistemology
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Non-Western Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Perception
  • Philosophy of Action
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic
  • Practical Ethics
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Browse content in Religion
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christianity
  • East Asian Religions
  • History of Religion
  • Judaism and Jewish Studies
  • Qumran Studies
  • Religion and Education
  • Religion and Health
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religion and Science
  • Religion and Law
  • Religion and Art, Literature, and Music
  • Religious Studies
  • Browse content in Society and Culture
  • Cookery, Food, and Drink
  • Cultural Studies
  • Customs and Traditions
  • Ethical Issues and Debates
  • Hobbies, Games, Arts and Crafts
  • Lifestyle, Home, and Garden
  • Natural world, Country Life, and Pets
  • Popular Beliefs and Controversial Knowledge
  • Sports and Outdoor Recreation
  • Technology and Society
  • Travel and Holiday
  • Visual Culture
  • Browse content in Law
  • Arbitration
  • Browse content in Company and Commercial Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Company Law
  • Browse content in Comparative Law
  • Systems of Law
  • Competition Law
  • Browse content in Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Government Powers
  • Judicial Review
  • Local Government Law
  • Military and Defence Law
  • Parliamentary and Legislative Practice
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Law
  • Browse content in Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Evidence Law
  • Sentencing and Punishment
  • Employment and Labour Law
  • Environment and Energy Law
  • Browse content in Financial Law
  • Banking Law
  • Insolvency Law
  • History of Law
  • Human Rights and Immigration
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Browse content in International Law
  • Private International Law and Conflict of Laws
  • Public International Law
  • IT and Communications Law
  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law
  • Law and Politics
  • Law and Society
  • Browse content in Legal System and Practice
  • Courts and Procedure
  • Legal Skills and Practice
  • Primary Sources of Law
  • Regulation of Legal Profession
  • Medical and Healthcare Law
  • Browse content in Policing
  • Criminal Investigation and Detection
  • Police and Security Services
  • Police Procedure and Law
  • Police Regional Planning
  • Browse content in Property Law
  • Personal Property Law
  • Study and Revision
  • Terrorism and National Security Law
  • Browse content in Trusts Law
  • Wills and Probate or Succession
  • Browse content in Medicine and Health
  • Browse content in Allied Health Professions
  • Arts Therapies
  • Clinical Science
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiography
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Browse content in Anaesthetics
  • General Anaesthesia
  • Neuroanaesthesia
  • Browse content in Clinical Medicine
  • Acute Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genito-urinary Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Community Medical Services
  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Haematology
  • History of Medicine
  • Browse content in Medical Dentistry
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics
  • Surgical Dentistry
  • Browse content in Medical Skills
  • Clinical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Nursing Skills
  • Surgical Skills
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Statistics and Methodology
  • Browse content in Neurology
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Neuropathology
  • Nursing Studies
  • Browse content in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Gynaecology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Browse content in Paediatrics
  • Neonatology
  • Browse content in Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
  • Histopathology
  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Patient Education and Information
  • Browse content in Pharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Browse content in Popular Health
  • Caring for Others
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Self-help and Personal Development
  • Browse content in Preclinical Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Reproduction, Growth and Development
  • Primary Care
  • Professional Development in Medicine
  • Browse content in Psychiatry
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Old Age Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy
  • Browse content in Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Browse content in Radiology
  • Clinical Radiology
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Browse content in Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Gastro-intestinal and Colorectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Peri-operative Care
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Browse content in Science and Mathematics
  • Browse content in Biological Sciences
  • Aquatic Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Natural History
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry
  • Research Methods in Life Sciences
  • Structural Biology
  • Systems Biology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences
  • Browse content in Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Mineralogy and Gems
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Study and Communication Skills in Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Browse content in Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Architecture and Logic Design
  • Game Studies
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mathematical Theory of Computation
  • Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Virtual Reality
  • Browse content in Computing
  • Business Applications
  • Computer Security
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Networking and Communications
  • Digital Lifestyle
  • Graphical and Digital Media Applications
  • Operating Systems
  • Browse content in Earth Sciences and Geography
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Environmental Geography
  • Geology and the Lithosphere
  • Maps and Map-making
  • Meteorology and Climatology
  • Oceanography and Hydrology
  • Palaeontology
  • Physical Geography and Topography
  • Regional Geography
  • Soil Science
  • Urban Geography
  • Browse content in Engineering and Technology
  • Agriculture and Farming
  • Biological Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Building
  • Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Energy Technology
  • Engineering (General)
  • Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • History of Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering and Materials
  • Technology of Industrial Chemistry
  • Transport Technology and Trades
  • Browse content in Environmental Science
  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmentalist Thought and Ideology (Environmental Science)
  • Management of Land and Natural Resources (Environmental Science)
  • Natural Disasters (Environmental Science)
  • Nuclear Issues (Environmental Science)
  • Pollution and Threats to the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Social Impact of Environmental Issues (Environmental Science)
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Browse content in Materials Science
  • Ceramics and Glasses
  • Composite Materials
  • Metals, Alloying, and Corrosion
  • Nanotechnology
  • Browse content in Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomathematics and Statistics
  • History of Mathematics
  • Mathematical Education
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Mathematical Analysis
  • Numerical and Computational Mathematics
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Browse content in Neuroscience
  • Cognition and Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Development of the Nervous System
  • Disorders of the Nervous System
  • History of Neuroscience
  • Invertebrate Neurobiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Systems
  • Neuroendocrinology and Autonomic Nervous System
  • Neuroscientific Techniques
  • Sensory and Motor Systems
  • Browse content in Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Biological and Medical Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Computational Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electromagnetism, Optics, and Acoustics
  • History of Physics
  • Mathematical and Statistical Physics
  • Measurement Science
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particles and Fields
  • Plasma Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Relativity and Gravitation
  • Semiconductor and Mesoscopic Physics
  • Browse content in Psychology
  • Affective Sciences
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Criminal and Forensic Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • History and Systems in Psychology
  • Music Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Psychology of Human-Technology Interaction
  • Psychology Professional Development and Training
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Browse content in Social Sciences
  • Browse content in Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Human Evolution
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Regional Anthropology
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Theory and Practice of Anthropology
  • Browse content in Business and Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Business Ethics
  • Business History
  • Business and Government
  • Business and Technology
  • Business and the Environment
  • Comparative Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Industrial and Employment Relations
  • Industry Studies
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • International Business
  • Knowledge Management
  • Management and Management Techniques
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Pensions and Pension Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Browse content in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Forms of Crime
  • International and Comparative Criminology
  • Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice
  • Development Studies
  • Browse content in Economics
  • Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics
  • Asian Economics
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Behavioural Economics and Neuroeconomics
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics
  • Economic Systems
  • Economic History
  • Economic Methodology
  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Financial Markets
  • Financial Institutions and Services
  • General Economics and Teaching
  • Health, Education, and Welfare
  • History of Economic Thought
  • International Economics
  • Labour and Demographic Economics
  • Law and Economics
  • Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Public Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
  • Welfare Economics
  • Browse content in Education
  • Adult Education and Continuous Learning
  • Care and Counselling of Students
  • Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Educational Equipment and Technology
  • Educational Strategies and Policy
  • Higher and Further Education
  • Organization and Management of Education
  • Philosophy and Theory of Education
  • Schools Studies
  • Secondary Education
  • Teaching of a Specific Subject
  • Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs
  • Teaching Skills and Techniques
  • Browse content in Environment
  • Applied Ecology (Social Science)
  • Climate Change
  • Conservation of the Environment (Social Science)
  • Environmentalist Thought and Ideology (Social Science)
  • Natural Disasters (Environment)
  • Social Impact of Environmental Issues (Social Science)
  • Browse content in Human Geography
  • Cultural Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Political Geography
  • Browse content in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Museums, Libraries, and Information Sciences
  • Browse content in Politics
  • African Politics
  • Asian Politics
  • Chinese Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Conflict Politics
  • Elections and Electoral Studies
  • Environmental Politics
  • European Union
  • Foreign Policy
  • Gender and Politics
  • Human Rights and Politics
  • Indian Politics
  • International Relations
  • International Organization (Politics)
  • International Political Economy
  • Irish Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • Political Methodology
  • Political Communication
  • Political Philosophy
  • Political Sociology
  • Political Behaviour
  • Political Economy
  • Political Institutions
  • Political Theory
  • Politics and Law
  • Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Quantitative Political Methodology
  • Regional Political Studies
  • Russian Politics
  • Security Studies
  • State and Local Government
  • UK Politics
  • US Politics
  • Browse content in Regional and Area Studies
  • African Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Japanese Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Native American Studies
  • Scottish Studies
  • Browse content in Research and Information
  • Research Methods
  • Browse content in Social Work
  • Addictions and Substance Misuse
  • Adoption and Fostering
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Child and Adolescent Social Work
  • Couple and Family Social Work
  • Developmental and Physical Disabilities Social Work
  • Direct Practice and Clinical Social Work
  • Emergency Services
  • Human Behaviour and the Social Environment
  • International and Global Issues in Social Work
  • Mental and Behavioural Health
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Social Policy and Advocacy
  • Social Work and Crime and Justice
  • Social Work Macro Practice
  • Social Work Practice Settings
  • Social Work Research and Evidence-based Practice
  • Welfare and Benefit Systems
  • Browse content in Sociology
  • Childhood Studies
  • Community Development
  • Comparative and Historical Sociology
  • Economic Sociology
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Gerontology and Ageing
  • Health, Illness, and Medicine
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Migration Studies
  • Occupations, Professions, and Work
  • Organizations
  • Population and Demography
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Social Theory
  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Social Research and Statistics
  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Sociology of Education
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Urban and Rural Studies
  • Browse content in Warfare and Defence
  • Defence Strategy, Planning, and Research
  • Land Forces and Warfare
  • Military Administration
  • Military Life and Institutions
  • Naval Forces and Warfare
  • Other Warfare and Defence Issues
  • Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
  • Weapons and Equipment

Setting the Moral Compass: Essays By Women Philosophers

Setting the Moral Compass: Essays By Women Philosophers

  • Cite Icon Cite
  • Permissions Icon Permissions

Setting the Moral Compass brings together the (largely unpublished) work of nineteen women moral philosophers whose powerful and innovative work has contributed to the “re-setting of the compass” of moral philosophy over the past two decades. The contributors, who include many of the top names in this field, tackle several wide-ranging projects: they develop an ethics for ordinary life and vulnerable persons; they examine the question of what we ought to do for each other; they highlight the moral significance of inhabiting a shared social world; they reveal the complexities of moral negotiations; and finally they show us the place of emotion in moral life.

Signed in as

Institutional accounts.

  • Google Scholar Indexing
  • GoogleCrawler [DO NOT DELETE]

Personal account

  • Sign in with email/username & password
  • Get email alerts
  • Save searches
  • Purchase content
  • Activate your purchase/trial code

Institutional access

  • Sign in with a library card Sign in with username/password Recommend to your librarian
  • Institutional account management
  • Get help with access

Access to content on Oxford Academic is often provided through institutional subscriptions and purchases. If you are a member of an institution with an active account, you may be able to access content in one of the following ways:

IP based access

Typically, access is provided across an institutional network to a range of IP addresses. This authentication occurs automatically, and it is not possible to sign out of an IP authenticated account.

Sign in through your institution

Choose this option to get remote access when outside your institution. Shibboleth/Open Athens technology is used to provide single sign-on between your institution’s website and Oxford Academic.

  • Click Sign in through your institution.
  • Select your institution from the list provided, which will take you to your institution's website to sign in.
  • When on the institution site, please use the credentials provided by your institution. Do not use an Oxford Academic personal account.
  • Following successful sign in, you will be returned to Oxford Academic.

If your institution is not listed or you cannot sign in to your institution’s website, please contact your librarian or administrator.

Sign in with a library card

Enter your library card number to sign in. If you cannot sign in, please contact your librarian.

Society Members

Society member access to a journal is achieved in one of the following ways:

Sign in through society site

Many societies offer single sign-on between the society website and Oxford Academic. If you see ‘Sign in through society site’ in the sign in pane within a journal:

  • Click Sign in through society site.
  • When on the society site, please use the credentials provided by that society. Do not use an Oxford Academic personal account.

If you do not have a society account or have forgotten your username or password, please contact your society.

Sign in using a personal account

Some societies use Oxford Academic personal accounts to provide access to their members. See below.

A personal account can be used to get email alerts, save searches, purchase content, and activate subscriptions.

Some societies use Oxford Academic personal accounts to provide access to their members.

Viewing your signed in accounts

Click the account icon in the top right to:

  • View your signed in personal account and access account management features.
  • View the institutional accounts that are providing access.

Signed in but can't access content

Oxford Academic is home to a wide variety of products. The institutional subscription may not cover the content that you are trying to access. If you believe you should have access to that content, please contact your librarian.

For librarians and administrators, your personal account also provides access to institutional account management. Here you will find options to view and activate subscriptions, manage institutional settings and access options, access usage statistics, and more.

Our books are available by subscription or purchase to libraries and institutions.

  • About Oxford Academic
  • Publish journals with us
  • University press partners
  • What we publish
  • New features  
  • Open access
  • Rights and permissions
  • Accessibility
  • Advertising
  • Media enquiries
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Languages
  • University of Oxford

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide

  • Copyright © 2024 Oxford University Press
  • Cookie settings
  • Cookie policy
  • Privacy policy
  • Legal notice

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.


  1. Sample Essay on Moral Compass Essay Free Essay Example

    essay about moral compass

  2. Personal and Professional Moral Compass Free Essay Example

    essay about moral compass

  3. Leveraging Your Moral Compass

    essay about moral compass

  4. Finding Your Moral Compass

    essay about moral compass

  5. 103 Morality Quotes To Help You Explore Your Moral Compass

    essay about moral compass

  6. Moral Compass, essay by hullabaloo22

    essay about moral compass


  1. 15 Ways to Develop a Strong Moral Compass

  2. What is a Moral Compass ?

  3. Understanding Your Moral Compass: A Guide to Ethical Direction

  4. Your Moral Compass Could Be Broken

  5. what guides your moral compass?

  6. Moral Compass


  1. Moral Compass Essay Example

    Sample Essay On Moral Compass. Type of paper: Essay. Topic: Law, Actions, Vision, Justice, Morality, Ethics, Business, Leadership. Pages: 5. Words: 1400. Published: 03/05/2020. An individual has to recognize their moral compass for it to exist. Personally, I hold that every individual has a moral compass that they have established through their ...

  2. Essay on moral compass

    The Moral Compass Essay. According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly by my parents and the eastern social ...

  3. Moral Compass Essay

    Moral Compass Essay Yuebo (Grace) Zhu I. Introduction A moral compass is the moral guide on which a person bases his/her decisions and distinguishes what is right from what is wrong. With our moral compass, we know what rules we should play by. When I was a child, I learnt Chinese traditional wisdom, Confucianism, from my parents and elementary ...

  4. Ethics and Values: The Moral Compass of Humanity

    Ethics and values are the compass by which individuals and societies navigate the complexities of human existence. They shape our character, guide our choices, and contribute to the moral foundation of our world. While ethical decision-making can be challenging, the pursuit of ethical excellence remains a noble endeavor, ensuring that our ...

  5. How to Develop a Strong Moral Compass

    Stronger identity: Having a strong moral compass can lead to a strong sense of integrity, self-worth, and self-confidence, says Wilson. Increased happiness: Acting in accordance with your values can help you feel happy and at peace with yourself.A 2014 study notes that having a clear conscience helps promote inner peace.The authors of the study notes that this even applies during stressful ...

  6. PDF The Moral Compass Essay: Frameworks and Applications

    Overview and Objectives. Understand the purpose and requirements of the essay. Identify a framework for organizing your writing. Define and distinguish between the major terms within the assignment. Engage in critical self-reflection by examining and responding to the key questions that are provided or implied.

  7. Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers

    What makes women's works so interesting, evidenced by the papers in this volume, are (1) the issues with which women are largely concerned (e.g., self-respect, decency, resentment, and moral progress), (2) the approaches women take to philosophy (e.g., drawing on examples from literature and from real life rather than using wildly implausible ...

  8. Moral Compass Essay

    Moral Compass Essay. Moral Compass Essay Yuebo (Grace) Zhu I. Introduction A moral compass is the moral guide on which a person bases his/her decisions and distinguishes what is right from what is wrong. With our moral compass, we know what rules we should play by.

  9. Moral Compass Essay

    The Moral Compass Essay. According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly by my parents and the eastern social ...

  10. Essay #5: Our Moral Compass Shapes Our Interactions

    Our moral compass is not fixed or static. It is dynamic and evolving. It can be challenged, changed, or reinforced by our experiences and interactions. It can also be a source of inspiration, motivation, and guidance for our actions and choices. By understanding and cultivating our moral compass, we can enhance our personal and social well ...

  11. Moral Compass: Definition and How to Find Yours

    Let's recap. Your moral compass is your personal guide to what's right and what's wrong. It's something that starts to develop in childhood and can change throughout the course of your ...

  12. Moral Compass

    A moral compass is a belief system that allows people to make ethical decisions. It is a set of values, beliefs, and principles that guides how one should behave. The moral compass has many uses ...

  13. PDF Developing Moral Intelligence

    Moral intelligence requires one to attend to a 'moral compass' or the self-knowledge that empowers you to act with authenticity and integrity, true to your ideal self. To calibrate your compass, you align your values, goals and actions with over-arching ethical principles. The following descriptions and exercises will guide you through this ...

  14. The Moral Compass Essay

    The moral compass Essay Introduction According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly by my parents and the ...

  15. Finding Our Moral Compass

    A recent sociological analysis of emerging adults (the age range between 18-23) drives home Schwartz's analysis regarding the loss of a moral compass and paints an even bleaker picture of the ...

  16. Setting the Moral Compass: Essays By Women Philosophers

    Abstract. Setting the Moral Compass brings together the (largely unpublished) work of nineteen women moral philosophers whose powerful and innovative work has contributed to the "re-setting of the compass" of moral philosophy over the past two decades. The contributors, who include many of the top names in this field, tackle several wide ...

  17. Moral Compass: Definition & Examples

    Moral Compass Definition. A moral compass is an individual's personal beliefs about what is right and wrong. A person's moral compass develops from a combination of life experiences and the culture they live in. While every person has a moral compass, not everyone's moral compass has the same values, and therefore their moral compass can ...

  18. Moral Compass

    The Moral Compass Essay. According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly by my parents and the eastern social ...

  19. Developing a moral compass: Themes from the Clinical Ethics Residency

    By asking them to provide an essay or narrative with examples, we hoped to discern which parts of the program were most successful in developing their confidence in ethical decision-making and moral agency. ... The participants had developed ethical knowledge and skills that provided a "moral compass: to navigate the many gray areas of ...

  20. The Moral Compass

    View Full Essay. ¶ …. Moral Compass The severity of adultery varies according to which perspective is being considered. For centuries, being faithful to one's spouse entails complete celibacy with any outside party. The emphasis placed on fidelity overrides any possible justification for adultery. However, can adultery ever be considered a ...

  21. Moral Compass

    Moral Compass Essay. PAGES. 5. WORDS. 1601. Cite. View Full Essay. Piracy Over the last couple of years the issue of internet piracy has become extremely heated, both because piracy has become easier and copyright holders have become more determined to stop pirates. Because copyright holders like the movie and recording industry have money on ...

  22. Moral compass

    The Moral Compass Essay. The moral compass Essay Introduction According to the definition of the Moral Compass text, moral compass is the reflective, international adoption of values and behaviors as a framework for realizing the good in oneself, in others, and in the social and material environment. My own moral compass is constructed mainly ...